Supervisor John W. Foust mentioned numerous endorsements he has already received and highlighted achievements he has made with the McLean community.
“I am running on my record as a civic leader,” said Foust, who has served McLean for eight years as the Dranesville District Supervisor.
Foust was once the president of the McLean Citizens Association, which hosted and ran Sunday’s debate at the McLean Community Center on Oct. 18.
“I didn’t come out of nowhere to be your Supervisor,” said Foust.
He cited 15 ways he has addressed community concerns in McLean including: resolving residents being charged more by Falls Church Water than county neighbors for water rates; protecting Pimmit Hills Senior Center from closure; helping pedestrian safety improvements near four McLean elementary schools, two middle schools and McLean High Schools; advancing Route 7 widening; delivering sound walls to residents along the I-66 extension and the Beltway; working with the community on renovations to the Dolley Madison Library and McLean Community Center; helping to deliver 711 commuter parking spots at the McLean Metro Station; improving trails and creating a task force to preserve trees in McLean Central Park; funding the renovation and expansion of the Spring Hill Recreation Center; working with McLean Youth Soccer on improved playing fields at Spring Hill, Lewinsville Park, Linway and McLean Police Station; addressing chronic speeding near Colvin Run Elementary.
FOUST’S OPPONENT Jennifer Chronis (R) said it is her leadership that differentiates her from the long-time McLean activist and McLean’s incumbent Supervisor.
“I’m a leader who can get things done,” said Chronis.
She said she took a leave of absence as a vice-president at IBM to focus on the race full-time, seven days a week. That’s the dedication she will have for the position, she said.
With his next turn in the 50-minute debate, Foust retorted, “I have been working seven days a week for the last eight years.”
THE DEBATE SUNDAY raised a notch in intensity when Chronis, for a second time, claimed that Foust supports tolling I-66. She did so at the Great Falls Citizens debate in September. Foust said he does not support tolls on I-66.
Republican candidates have been using this issue in several races.
Craig Parisot (R) did the same to Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34) in both debates.
And Danny Vargas (R) has done the same to Jennifer Boysko (D) with his campaign literature in their race to fill the District 86 delegate seat vacated by retiring Tom Rust.
“Republican candidates are desperately trying to find an issue and they are claiming that their opponents support the tolling,” he said. “I’m telling you, pay attention to the facts.”
“They have to stop fabricating issues and start talking about real issues,” said Foust.
Murphy had to say the same thing in her debate with Parisot. At their debate in Great Falls on Sept. 29, she said: “I didn’t say that I supported [tolls on I-66]. I didn’t come here to slam Craig. He’s a nice guy. We’re opponents and we’re not enemies and this should be a friendly debate.”
QUESTIONS RANGED from Northern Virginia’s economy and diversification, traffic congestion, the impact of Tysons on McLean, school budget problems and relationship between the Board of Supervisors and School Board, and the county’s Triple AAA Bond rating.
Fairfax County is one of 37 counties in the country with a AAA bond rating, which saves millions of dollars annually in interest.
Foust gave assurance that the county has made the steps the bond rating companies suggested making, while Chronis tried to show why she thinks the county is in trouble.
Chronis suggested she was the level-headed candidate when the community was upset regarding the new gun store adjacent to property of Franklin Sherman Elementary School.
“This has been such a highly emotional issue for our community. I understand the parents’ concern and we can all agree that safety of our children needs to be the number one priority,” she said. “These store owners have done nothing illegal. … Now, we are at a point we need to talk as adults and leaders how to get a solution.”
While Chronis didn’t suggest what the solution should be, Foust didn’t mince words even though the gun store has a right to rent property in McLean.
“It may be by right, but it’s not right. No gun store should be next to an elementary school,” said Foust. “The community is doing a fabulous job keeping the issue alive.”
“I believe it is absolutely appropriate to have that gun store moved. There are so many areas that gun store can locate,” Foust said.
He said he has been working with the gun store owner and the business community to figure a different location for the store.
Chronis said that Foust used the issue as a politician.
“I believe it is the role of the elected official to do something to solve, to deescalate the situation. It is not the role of fanning the flame only for the purpose of political gain,” she said.
FOUST HAS GARNERED $217,730 in cash contributions as of Aug. 31, according to Virginia Public Access Project. He received $184,074 in contributions of more than $100, and $33,656 in contributions of $100 or less. Foust’s top donors are: $12,500 from Firefighters Local 2068; $5,000 from Shenandoah Landscape Services; $5,000 from Wayne J. Griffin of Massachusetts; $4,250 from John Carl Beyer of Great Falls. He had $81,748 as his ending balance on Aug. 31, 2015.
CHRONIS HAS RAISED $206,501 cash contributions as of the end of August, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. She raised $188,552 in cash contributions or more and $17,949 in cash contributions of $100 or less as of end of August. Her top donors were: $7,500 from T. Christopher Roth of McLean; $6,250 from Lorna J. Gladstone of McLean; $6,000 from Virginia Republican Victory Fund; $5,000 from Darian Downs of McLean and $5,000 from ADU International of Vienna. She had a $107,717 balance as of end of August.